Thin Lizzy rock the Regent

Thin Lizzy supported by Stone GodsIpswich Regent, Saturday nightTHIS was certainly a different line-up at the Ipswich Regent - and one that the good-sized audience seemed to appreciate.

Thin Lizzy supported by Stone Gods

Ipswich Regent, Saturday night

THIS was certainly a different line-up at the Ipswich Regent - and one that the good-sized audience seemed to appreciate.

The Stone Gods, a new name to most people, were last-minute replacements for Queensryche who pulled out earlier in the week.

But their line-up should be familiar to many, especially in this part of the world, because they are three-quarters of The Darkness - without Justin Hawkins - and are now looking to establish their own niche in the world of heavy metal music.

Frankly they've got an awful lot to do if they are to emulate their original incarnation.

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No one is denying that Dan Hawkins, Ed Graham, and Richie Edwards - who has progressed from roadie to bassist on The Darkness' second album to guitarist and vocalist - are fine musicians.

And new bassist Toby Macfarlaine seems to know what he is doing.

But there was no real magic on show from them at the Regent - they looked just like any other heavy metal support act.

Metal heads might have enjoyed their heavy music by numbers, but they simply do not possess the character which propelled The Darkness to their all-too-brief moment of stardom.

Thin Lizzy, on the other hand, really did bring a touch of sparkle to the Regent, even though they are only a shadow of the band which really did achieve superstardom in the late 70s and early 80s.

Thin Lizzy lost their iconic frontman Phil Lynott in 1986, but Scott Gorham has brought together a very strong four-piece band to tour under the Thin Lizzy banner.

His voice is very similar to that of Lynott, and there were frequent references to the late frontman which the crowd at the Regent certainly appreciated.

Most of the great songs were there - including the Boys are Back in Town and Jailbreak - but perhaps wisely they did not try to revive Lynott's very individual version of Whiskey in the Jar.

Drummer Tommy Aldridge looks like the original template for the Muppets' “Animal” and certainly delighted the audience with his extravagant solo.

Gorham is the only member of the current Lizzy line-up to have been part of Lynott's group but the audience didn't seem to care about that.

It was a night of heavy music at the Regent but at the end there was distinct feeling that people were happier with the rock they recognised than they were with the new music produced by the remnants of The Darkness.

PAUL GEATER

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